Raspberry Pi: Installing Raspbian

Required equipment

In terms of equipment, you will need the following:

Personal experiences have taught me to stay away from USB hubs and non-powered external hard drives. They’ve just failed frequently and causing OS corruption on the SD – not worth the hassle.

Install Raspbian on an SD card

Install and configure Raspbian on the RPi

Power up your Raspberry Pi and you’ll first see many lines of text scroll through, then you’ll be greeted with the below menu where you can only interact with your keyboard by pressing up, down, right, left, tab and enter.

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Expanding the file system

Start off by selecting the first item on the menu, expanding the file system to fill the entire capacity of the SD card. So press Enter to select the Expand Filesystem option, and shortly after you’ll receive confirmation the process was successfully completed. 

Change your password

Press Enter and this will take you back to the main menu. The second option in the menu allows you to change the default password for the user, pi – the default user on Raspbian. The password you set here will be used to login at boot.

Overclock

The Rev 2.0 Model B RPi has just a 700 MHz clockspeed. Weak but just fine for a small simple fileserver. You don’t even have to overclock it, this is optional. However, you may as well select the Modest mode in the Overlock menu just to give it a little bit more of a kick.

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Advanced options

Proceed down the menu and select the Advanced options item, where you can change the RPi’s hostname (which will appear as labelled on your shared network devices), adjust the amount of memory dedicated to graphics and enable SSH (don’t worry about SSH for now, I have another post for that).

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As you can see, I labelled my RPi’s hostname as “CookUoP-fileserver” and made the shared graphics memory just 16MB as we’ll only be using command line interface (CLI) and no GUI.

After you’re satisfied with all your adjustments, make your way back to the main menu and select Finish to reboot. You can log back in using the password you defined just moments ago.

To ensure your system, its packages and repositories are always up to date, run the below command every once in a while:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Power down

Try to avoid pulling the plug on the RPi to power down as it will just corrupt the files on the SD Card and cause you hassle. Always try to shut down properly using the below command:

sudo shutdown -h now

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